Survey shows gap in knowledge about pet diets

Posted on October 6, 2009 under Pet Health & Safety

Many pet owners are in the dark when it comes to nutritional pet foodAccording to a recent survey, approximately 60 percent of pet owners do not know how to select the most nutritional food to optimize their pet’s needs.

The research, commissioned by pet retailer PETCO, revealed that 79 percent of people with pets believe their pet’s nutrition to be important or critical.

However, 57 percent of respondents did not know how to evaluate the nutritional value of pet food by reading the label, 59 percent could not identify nutritious ingredients and 61 percent could not differentiate between basic, premium, natural and organic pet foods.

After receiving the results to this survey, PETCO began a nutrition education program which will provide detailed training to experts in each store. One company official hopes that the program will disseminate the message to consumers concerned with pet health as well.

Rick Rockhill, vice president of merchandise for PETCO revealed one tip, and advised dog and cat owners not to rely on diets typically deemed healthy for humans such as low-fat, unprocessed foods. "Dogs and cats actually get most of their energy from fat and have an easier time digesting foods that have been correctly processed."

HousePet Magazine further warns that dogs and cats are susceptible to bacteria in meat such as salmonella, campylobacter, E. coli and Listeria.